Over the last several days, Twitter has been overrun by a string of mostly white women posting videos of themselves purportedly experiencing tremors and seizure-like spasms after getting the covid vaccine. Naturally, they were prompted to do so by none other than Elon Musk (a man who’s called for Anthony Fauci to be prosecuted and is clearly a highly credible source for information) after he tweeted on Friday, “I had major side effects from my second booster shot. Felt like I was dying for several days. Hopefully, no permanent damage, but I dunno.” I dunno indeed.
His tweet was met with videos of people supposedly experiencing post vaccine full body shakes, captioned with “Thanks Pfizer” or “Thanks Moderna.” Bogus claims from anti-vaxxers aren’t new, of course, and the transparent purpose of these videos is to spread further misinformation about covid vaccines. But it’s rare that we receive misinformation in a manner so distinctly, dare I say, hilarious, and Twitter has responded as you might expect, taking all of this as seriously as it deserves to be taken. (To be clear, I am very concerned about vaccine misinformation and its deadly impacts! But it’s impossible to watch these videos and not chuckle at the sheer stupidity of it all.)
To start, I give you this resurfaced video of a woman supposedly experiencing post-vaccine tremors in 2021:
And this new viral video shared last week:
When the videos first went viral last week, the immediate response was questioning: How could all of these supposedly tremor-addled vaccine victims capture such still, steady footage? But over the weekend, the videos pivoted from being simply objects of scorn to being silly vessels for nostalgia, as Twitter users quote-tweeted them with references to 2000s movies and sitcoms, beloved TikToks from bygone digital eras, and in general, everything you’ve ever seen shake, spasm, or dance with little grace.
For example: The Office’s Michael Scott on the booze cruise, apparently, shortly after a dose of Pfizer:
The viral TikTok dancer—perhaps a casualty of Moderna?
I certainly wish Showgirls’ Nomi, an apparent Pfizer victim, a swift recovery:
You get well soon, too, Dua Lipa!
And I’m sending out thoughts and prayers for this Moderna-afflicted vibrator, this Pfizer-struck iPhone lock screen, and 30 Rock’s poor Kenneth Parcell as he tries, unsuccessfully, to drink water after getting vaccinated. I’m sending my best to 25-year-old health care worker Rogelio, too.
We are witnessing much of this on our timelines, again, because of Musk. By his own admission (“I dunno”), he’s clueless when it comes to vaccine consequences. If he weren’t such a flaming idiot, he could amplify actual scientists and experts who say the vaccine is safe and highly effective at preventing covid, minimizing its symptoms, and stopping mass death. It’s a lot more helpful than spewing out totally unfounded hypotheticals and shrugging.
There’s still much research to be done about covid vaccine side effects—but sharing staged videos on Twitter isn’t it.
If anything, really, I’d argue Musk’s anti-vax reply guys owe a debt to the vaccine, because: